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A Kid Friendly Thanksgiving

posted on: November 21, 2014


So, it's almost Thanksgiving. The virtual invites have been sent, the menu has been created, changed, and recreated to fit the dietary needs of all your dearest, and maybe you've already purchased your hearty turkey. Good for you. But there's one major detail that you have yet to iron out, kids. If you're on the worrying side of how to accommodate the children of your adult guests, have no fear, LaTonya is here! That was fun to type.

As a mom and frequent dinner party host, I feel as though I have enough circles on my trunk to lead you in the right direction here. These are just a few things that I think will make your turkey, or veggie day feast a little easier.

Lets' start with the basics, and pardon me for my bluntness on this subject. But I do feel as though the expectations for kids on this holiday are set a bit too high. They're expected to dress up and stay clean, eat when they're finally given the opportunity to do so, and a host of other things that kids just don't do.

First things first, skip the fancy schmansy clothes. Really. If you're hosting, encourage your guests to 
dress casually and comfortably. A rule for them is a rule for their kids. If you don't feel comfortable making a decision on the attire of others, fix it yourself. Purchase a few large white tees and have them easily accessible for the kids to throw on themselves. T-shirts cost pennies in comparison to the more expensive threads they will probably arrive in. Have you seen toddlers in large t-shirts before? The cutest thing ever!

The addition of shirts brings me to my next tip, crafting time. If you're planning to have your guests arrive a little bit early while dinner is still being prepared, I think I've concocted a master plan.  Craft hour! Seriously, I don't think I've ever been to a Thanksgiving where they held a craft hour dedicated to the kids. Craft hour can take place while the host is still running around crossing her t's and dotting her i's, and while the other guests watch a football game, or whatever else people do on Thanksgiving. Grab the t-shirts, a few markers, and maybe even some glitter if you're daring, and let them have at it. This is the perfect distraction from toddler fights and the "Is it time to eat yettttt?" nags. The t-shirts can then be worn when they're eating, and even be brought back home to remember the occasion.

Feed them before they arrive. I'm not sure who thought that having kids wait for food was a great idea. It isn't. Feed your kids before they arrive. Like an actual meal, people. That way, when they decide to leave the dinner table, you aren't freaking out because they only had breakfast, and you fear that they will get embarrassingly hangry. The horror.

Speaking of feeding, lets treat Thanksgiving like a Sunday brunch shall we? See, if you're like me, you only ever pick the restaurant where paper as a tablecloth is an option. Right? Right.  Same rule applies for Thanksgiving. Skip that linen and throw some paper on that sucker. It makes for an easy clean, it becomes an eat fest for the adults and an art fest for the kids who refuse to chow down, and there's no "you spilled red wine on my grandmother's linen tablecloth" cringing involved. Everyone's happy.

Lastly, but more importantly, let them be little! If they leave the table or end up in the corner playing with blocks the entire time, so be it. What's joy for them is usually joy for us.

And if you're looking;
- You can find some craft paper in lieu of a real tablecloth here
- White t-shirt
- And some sound advice from a friend if you're lacking chairs this holiday




5 comments:

  1. "let them be little" is probably the best advice you can give sometimes (:

    and toddler fights are not fun, the tshirt idea sounds fun!

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  2. What a great post! Way to keep it real! ~AK

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  3. As an elementary school teacher, aka someone who willingly and happily spends all day in a room with 25 kids, I especially appreciate this post. Great blog!

    sprucesandstones.weebly.com

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